The energy at the MTV “Video Music Awards” reached a new height when the briefly-reunited ‘NSYNC broke in to “Bye Bye Bye.” Justin Timberlake exchanged pleasantries with his former band mates and strutted back to center stage as the notes of “Suit and Tie” blared through the sound system. With the VMA set in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, could this be Jay Z’s moment to grace the audience with his presence?
It would not be. Justin explained why to 95.5 PLJ.
“We talked about it, maybe, but also I just thought that this would be a nice moment to share with the guys from ‘NSYNC,” Timberlake told “The Ralphie Show.” “You can’t give me this award without saying, ‘Look at what the group accomplished.’”
The superstar reiterated over the phone a fact that he cited Sunday evening: around half of his Moonmen were won with the quartet. Jay Z would not make an appearance at all during the show, but he and Timberlake linked up later in the evening at an after party.
Timberlake’s full interview with “The Ralphie Show” will air Thursday, September 5.
The trend with the MTV “Video Music Awards” is that the show is short on awards, moderate on music, and heavy on moments that the blogosphere will be writing about for weeks to come. Last Sunday night proved no different, as the only memorable award belonged to the man responsible for the evening’s biggest performance.
Justin Timberlake received the “Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award” from a breathless Jimmy Fallon. The presentation followed a 15 minute trip down memory lane which showcased the star’s extensive library, impressive choreography, and the reason why we came to know Timberlake in the first place.
In possibly the worst kept secret of the evening, J.C. Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass, and Joey Fatone reunited with Justin; for about two minutes, but reunited albeit. ‘NSYNC elicited the loudest response of the show from the sold out crowd inside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center – entering to “Gone,” segueing to “Girlfriend,” and bringing it home with “Bye, Bye, Bye”; dance moves and all.
Still, the night belong to Timberlake alone, who also took home Moonmen for “Best Direction,” “Best Editing,” and the top “Video of the Year” honor thanks to “Mirrors,” which the entertainer accepted with a heartwarming speech about how his grandparents inspired the piece.
The second-most talked about event of the evening, or first if you’re using Twitter statistics, was Miley Cyrus’ performance with Robin Thicke, and the gyrating that followed. A source inside the Barclays Center during rehearsals, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Cyrus had practiced all of her raunchy moves with Thicke prior to Sunday’s award show. That could make the whole situation better or worse, depending on your perspective.
Regardless, the incident broke the Twitter record for most tweets per minute, surpassing 300,000 updates every 60 seconds.
While Katy Perry’s closing of the show provided awesome visuals of the Brooklyn Bridge as she pranced around a boxing ring to her new smash “Roar,” it was Kanye West, Macklemore, and Bruno Mars who turned in other noteworthy performances. Lady Gaga kicked off the evening to a loud ovation with “Applause,” but the show fell in to disarray before Timberlake got things back on track midway through.
While the show itself is now one of the biggest nights in music, the awards carry little to no weight. The arena booed audibly when One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” won a fan vote for “Song of the Summer,” a title that any person with common sense will tell you belongs to Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”
Still, the award show continues to be an annual staple for the network no longer known for its music. Ratings this year were up 66 percent from last year’s Thursday night broadcast from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
On WBRE’s “PA Live!” for this week’s “The Ralphie Report,” I played Paul Rodriguez’s comments on Kim Kardashian, talked about the recent indie-rock surge on “Glee,” and talked about an Entertainment Weekly interview with J.C. Chasez where he shot down an N’Sync reunion… again. It’s gonna be May!
Boston-born singer Michael Africk has been around the block a few times, and by block, I mean world. The former teen superstar opened for N’Sync, Britney Spears, and the Backstreet Boys. How in was the singer with these acts? None of them made him sign a confidentiality agreement. Africk also made a huge name for himself in Japan, playing sold out shows and becoming a sushi connoisseur of sorts in the process.
I suppose you could add another bullet point to the resume or bio after my interview with Joe Jonas aired last week on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” All three family members that comprised The Jonas Brothers have now joined my show for interviews.
He’s flying from coast to coast – filming a new movie, “Inkubus” in the east, appearing on “Dancing with the Stars” out west. He just welcomed a second child in to his life. This summer he is preparing for a two week run of “The Producers” in Pittsburgh – on top of countless other appearances and hosting commitments.
Yet somewhere in between all of this, Joey Fatone is finding the time to go back to his roots and launch a solo music career. “Radio” is his first single, and the evening before it hit iTunes, the former ‘N Sync member somehow spared 10 minutes to check in to “The Ralphie Radio Show.”
“It’s been a crazy month of May for me,” Fatone said, arguably a rather large understatement. “It’s been unreal, and I count my blessings every day.”
‘N Sync released its debut, self-titled album 12 years ago. From 1998 to 2003, the group sold 56 million albums worldwide – a number that sounds and reads unfathomable in this day and age. After the boy band disbanded – Justin Timberlake and J.C. Chasez pursued separate music careers. Lance Bass unsuccessfully attempted to launch in to space, before revealing he was gay in 2006. Chris Kirkpatrick hosted a morning radio show and appeared in a couple reality TV programs.
And if you were looking for Fatone, you didn’t need to look any further than the closest screen or stage – because the baritone singer decided he’d pursue everything that didn’t involve recording an album and touring.
“I did ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’, and then I went off and did Broadway for a while,” noted Fatone, who appeared in “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Rent.” “And then I was spending time with my wife and my kid, and then I just finally had another kid recently.”
Fatone cites the birth of his second daughter as the reason he backed out of the spotlight – focusing on his family after “Dancing with the Stars” and his various hosting credits, which include the TV Guide Network. Now he’s back on the road – wrapping up his current film, a horror flick in which he stars alongside Robert Englund – the original Freddy Krueger, before the end of the month. Despite the constant activity in his life, Fatone believes the timing is right to return to music. —
Part 1: New movie, Return to “Dancing with the Stars”
Part 2: Solo album plans, possible Justin collab, “The Producers” in Pittsburgh
— “To have all the guys from ‘N Sync come out with an album at the same time, and just where I was, for me to do more Broadway and obviously not come out with an album, I think for me I’m glad it was kinda that way,” revealed Fatone. “You know, you don’t want people to get bombarded and go, ‘Oh look, Justin’s coming out with an album, oh here’s J.C. coming out with an album, here’s Joey coming out with an album, who’s coming out with an album next?’”
So he waited, and eventually recorded a handful of songs over the past couple years – fine-tuning his work until he was satisfied.
“I’m not the biggest writer, Justin and J.C. were really, really great writers… I’d always come up with concepts but never was a writer for that,” he recalled. “I always wanted to, and over the years developed writing and coming up with more ideas and working with a friend of mine, Rob Giles, who wrote ‘Radio’, it just kind of came together.”
Somehow Fatone fit in writing and recording sessions between his litany of other gigs. He’s only worked with Giles in studio thus far, but plans on reaching out this summer to other potential collaborators, including Timberlake. Fatone agreed with my assessment that Justin is more interested in partnering with other artists at the moment than recording his own material, so now may be the time to snag him for a feature.
“I think right now, because he doesn’t want the pressure on himself to have to go on tour and all that stuff,” said Fatone, who mentioned that he already spoke with Timberlake regarding the possibility. “So I think for him, producing and writing with other people is a great outlet for him, and he can stay at home.”
Certainly much has changed, besides the decline in sales, since ‘N Sync ruled the charts. But Fatone has taken note and adapted. He did not commit to any type of music video for “Radio” until he sees the reaction from fans – which these days, is instant thanks to comments and stat reports from iTunes, Amazon MP3, and YouTube.
“It’s like, why not put it out there, see what happens, and if it starts to grow… for me I’d love to do a tour and go out to maybe like, a House of Blues and do a tour like that,” said Fatone, also mentioning that he’d like to keep that intimate setting for his fans.
“My whole thing is, life’s too short, enjoy what you have, enjoy the music, enjoy spending time with your family, and that’s my vibe in general. I’m not trying to save the world by writing a song that’s going to make everyone hold hands and be one together. No, just have a party, have a good time.”